Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming Random House Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol First Second Judged by Matt Phelan
Going strictly alphabetical is a pretty good idea for BoB and creates interesting contests. As luck would have it, I have more than a passing interest in both comics and around-the-world adventurers (with a particular fondness for a few who succeeded).
Let’s start with a similarity. We have here the two most striking covers of the year. They don’t beg, “Read me!,” they coolly inform you that, “Yes, you do want to read me. Now.” Both covers consist of a grayed image and red lettering. Anya’s Ghost is all swirls and curves with that great shape of the hair leaving room for the title. Amelia Lost has lines as straight as a plane’s wingspan and there, looking heroic and cooler than anyone you know, is Amelia in her leather flight suit. Kudos to Vera Brosgol and Colleen AF Venable for designing Anya and Rachael Cole for designing Amelia. So far, it’s a draw.
Anya’s Ghost is the first graphic novel by Vera Brosgol. Her command of the comics’ medium is startling. There is not a moment in the book where you feel that the storytelling is perhaps off-track or the images are not communicating. Anya’s Ghost moves with confidence and clarity, deftly mixing fantasy with teen reality and is, in turns, very funny and seriously menacing. She manages that tricky balancing act thanks in large part to her …